Is kindergarten the new grade one?
That’s the question a recent study explores. “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?” validates what many experts have said for years: Kindergarten has become more academic at the expense of play. Looking at 1998 through 2010, it says, “…major shifts over this period towards a heightened focus on academics, and particularly a heightened focus on literacy, and within literacy, a focus on more advanced skills than what had been taught before.”
The study shows, more and more, kindergarten teachers feel children should learn to read in kindergarten – this increased from 30 percent in 1998 to 80 percent in 2010. BUT, Finland prefers for kindergarten kids to play. By the by, the Nordic nation consistently shows a strong performance of its 15-year-olds on international tests like the PISA. And it’s been found that play actually develops academic skills, such as math and problem solving, as well as developing other social, emotional and physical benefits – all of this is achieved through fun and imagination.
So, what do you think? Has kindergarten become too academic? Are we stripping our kids of fun – and failing to understands its benefits? Taking your calls after 1pm: 204.780.6868 or 1.844.686.6868.